Liberty is an inherently offensive lifestyle. Living in a free society guarantees that each one of us will see our most cherished principles and beliefs questioned and in some cases mocked. That psychic discomfort is the price we pay for basic civic peace. It's worth it. It's a pragmatic principle. Defend everyone else's rights, because if you don't there is no one to defend yours. -- MaxedOutMama

I don't just want gun rights... I want individual liberty, a culture of self-reliance....I want the whole bloody thing. -- Kim du Toit

The most glaring example of the cognitive dissonance on the left is the concept that human beings are inherently good, yet at the same time cannot be trusted with any kind of weapon, unless the magic fairy dust of government authority gets sprinkled upon them.-- Moshe Ben-David

The cult of the left believes that it is engaged in a great apocalyptic battle with corporations and industrialists for the ownership of the unthinking masses. Its acolytes see themselves as the individuals who have been "liberated" to think for themselves. They make choices. You however are just a member of the unthinking masses. You are not really a person, but only respond to the agendas of your corporate overlords. If you eat too much, it's because corporations make you eat. If you kill, it's because corporations encourage you to buy guns. You are not an individual. You are a social problem. -- Sultan Knish

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Tough History Coming

Yeah, there's a whole long list of posts here under that label, but I can see the light at the end of the tunnel, and I think it's Ayn Rand's oncoming train.

I've concluded that it really doesn't matter much who triumphs in next November's snout-count, our President and all our Congressweasels aren't going to pull our chestnuts out of the flames - they're just going to keep pouring coal - sorry - sustainable cellulose fiber on the fire.

In Europe the EU is about to crumble, but our banks have decided to try to help "save" them from themselves.  Yeah.  That'll work. I've seen a lot more Titanic references in relation to the U.S. and world economies lately. The iceberg may very well be the mound of Euro debt that Greece, Italy, Spain, Portugal or even France are impaling themselves upon. Mixing metaphors further, there seems to be a long stack of dominoes that The Anointed™ have been placing oh-so-carefully for the last four or five decades just waiting for that first one to tip over.

And bear in mind, whether you like it or not ours is a global economy. When one collapses, the rest will feel it, and it will be painful.

In Greece there have been riots over "austerity measures." In England there have been riots over ... what, exactly? Oh, yes: because they were "good fun"! We've got "Occupy Wall Street" idiots rioting in Oakland. If our Congressweasels do try for "austerity measures" here, do you doubt there'll be widespread rioting?  And immediate appeasement?

Meanwhile the current Administration has blocked the "shovel ready" development of an oil pipeline from Canada's oil sands to the U.S., and is prepared to unleash the mighty power of the EPA on companies developing oil and gas deposits in the Bakken and Marcellus formations.

Iran is developing nuclear weapons, and somebody (*cough*Israel*cough*) seems to be throwing monkey wrenches into their mechanisms. But you have to wonder if it's just not enough. I mean, Pakistan already has nukes, and they're pretty pissed off at us right now. Plus China has given us an ultimatum: "Any Attack on Pakistan Would be Construed as an Attack on China".

I look at the world, and I cannot help but assume that we're just fucking doomed. We're apparently way overdue for another massive die-off, but Mother Nature hasn't come up with that elusive superbug, nor have we figured out just what it'll take to motivate us into throwing nukes at each other - yet. Our energy supplies haven't run out, but unless we stop shutting down drilling and mining, that's going to happen. We've already proven that wind and solar aren't going to cut it. Nuclear holds the most promise, but after Fukushima, there's a snowball's chance in hell that any new reactors will get built before the turn of the next century.

And our government has concluded that if you have guns, ammo, seven days worth of food, or are missing a couple of fingers, you might be a terrorist and they should be able to abduct you, take you out of the country and hold you indefinitely without charges.




Good thing this wasn't in effect when Richard Jewell was a suspect in the Olympic Park bombing. He'd have probably died well before the age of 44.  I'm sure there are many more we've not heard of in the intervening years.

In December of 2003 Donald Sensing wrote:
When my children are my age, they will not be free in any recognizably traditional American meaning of the word. I’d tell them to emigrate, but there’s nowhere left to go. I am left with nauseating near-conviction that I am a member of the last generation in the history of the world that is minimally truly free.
I asked him in October of 2008 if his opinion had changed any. His response, in part:
Yes, most definitely it has. The demise of freedom in this country has accelerated even faster than I imagined back in 2003.

--

The only difference between the outcomes of McCain's or Obama's presidency is how quickly they will accelerate the robbery of the people's rights, not whether they will.
One author of the bill in question above is John McCain.

I will once again repeat the apocryphal but descriptive ("fake, but accurate" if you will) quotation attributed to Alexander Frasier Tytler regarding democracies:
A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largesse from the public treasury. From that moment on the majority always votes for the candidate promising the most from the public treasury with the result that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy, always followed by dictatorship.

The average age of the world's greatest civilizations has been 200 years. These nations have progressed through the following sequence:


From bondage to spiritual faith

From spiritual faith to great courage

From courage to liberty

From liberty to abundance

From abundance to selfishness

From selfishness to complacency

From complacency to apathy

From apathy to dependency

From dependency back again into bondage
According to the latest statistics, more than one-third of the total wages and salaries paid in the U.S. come from .gov payouts. If that's not dependency, what is?  So the next step is...

But hey, the wealthy have made their separate peace and are planning for the collapse. I guess they don't have to worry about Uncle Sam thinking they're terrorists or anything. They won't do anything so gauche as stockpile MRE's.

I don't fault them. In their position, I'd probably do the same. But I'm not looking forward to a return to feudalism, that's for sure. This peasant intends to remain armed and free. There is a reason the Second Amendment was written, and it didn't have anything to do with "sporting purposes."

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

First Mike Rowe, now Jay Leno



Found at Classical Values.

Unsafe Gun Handling

Looks like Paul Taylor is going to run with this theme for a bit:


Ouch!

Quote of the Day - Instapundit Edition

I remember when "Insane Clown Posse" was just the name of a band, and not a description of our political class.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

We're Winning

Read the latest Wapsi Square strip, then read the comments.

This is hardly the first appearance of a firearm in Paul Taylor's strip, but it's the first time I've seen one fired by a main character. And note that Monica has excellent trigger discipline!

Bummer

My new revolver was delivered to the gun shop today.  The US Postal Service notified me by email.  However, the dealer didn't get it into his Bound Book today, so I couldn't pick it up.  I have to wait until Monday.  The brass and bullets showed up on Wednesday.  The moon clips showed up on Tuesday, but not the tool to load and unload the clips.  That's on backorder.  I picked up a pound of Alliant's Power Pistol this afternoon, so I'll be loading a hundred .38+P rounds for testing - for next weekend.

I will be able to get some practice in before December's bowling pin match, but I really wanted to take it to the range tomorrow.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

"...when a long train of abuses and usurpations..."

Back in August of 2009 I wrote Restoring the Lost Constitution. In that piece I quoted a bit from an Orson Scott Card novel:
(America) was a nation created out of nothing - nothing but a set of ideals that they never measured up to. Now and then they had great leaders, but usually nothing but political hacks, and I mean right from the start. Washington was great, but Adams was paranoid and lazy, and Jefferson was as vile a scheming politician as a nation has ever been cursed with.

...

America shaped itself with institutions so strong that it could survive corruption, stupidity, vanity, ambition, recklessness, and even insanity in its chief executive.
and asked the question, "But can it survive enmity?"

Gerard Van der Leun now addresses that question in his piece, Presence of Malice: Against the Conservative Portrait of the President. You'll note that it expands upon the point of last Saturday's Quote of the Day, that also came from Van der Leun's site.

For that which we are about to receive may we be truly thankful...

Monday, November 21, 2011

This is What I'm Talking About

Breda's other half (no, that's not a "short" joke) Mike has written a three-piece (so far) essay on the divide in our culture, entitled Concord Bridge or Fort Sumter. I recommend you read all three parts.

I can't find fault with it.

ETA:  Read this too.

What HE Said

Alan Caruba on global systemic failure.  Go.  Read.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

And This is Why the Party's Over

Quote of the... well, end, I suppose:
The Republicans more or less follow the laws and constitutional procedures, the Democrats deliberately and consciously break them. But the Republicans, while they complain incessantly about the Democrats, never identify this underlying fact. Why? Because that would show that the system is no longer legitimate. And the function of the Republicans, as "patriotic, conservative Americans," is to uphold the goodness and legitimacy of the system, a legitimacy which rests on the belief that everyone in American politics shares the same basic principles and loyalties. So the Republicans, as defenders of the system and its presumed basic unity, cannot expose what the Democrats are. If they exposed it, politics would be replaced by open war between two radically incompatible parties and America as we know it would come to an end. -- Lawrence Auster, View from the Right, Kagan's non-recusal and what it means
Found at Van der Leun's. I've been saying it for years. So have others. This is a realization that most people will not be able to avoid much longer, regardless of the education system, the media, and the .gov. Sooner or later Mr. and Ms. MiddleAmerica are finally going to say "ENOUGH!"

Friday, November 18, 2011

National Ammo Day

Saturday is National Ammo Day. My contribution this year is going to have to be the 500 Speer 158 grain .357 SWCHP bullets and 500 pieces of Starline .38+P brass I ordered today from Midway. I should receive the order next week.

I hope that's enough to make Sarah Brady cry.

"We Trusted His Judgement"

And that tells you everything you really need to know about the Obama administration:


So when will Corzine be put in the cell reserved for Kenneth Lay?

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Early Christmas Present

I'm getting a new gun for Bowling Pins.  US Citizen of Traction Control has an FFL, and access to a large stock of firearms.  Well, I'm reducing that stock by Qty. 1.  I'm ordering one of these:


That's a S&W Model 327 TRR8 - a Scandium-alloy 8-shot N-Frame .357 magnum with a stainless cylinder milled for moon clips, 5" stainless barrel with a Dan Wesson style barrel shroud, provisions for mounting Picatinny rails both on the top strap and under the barrel, all finished in matte black. 
Here's a shot of the business end with both rails attached:
It should make a fine Pin gun. 

Monday, November 14, 2011

Shut it Down! Shut it ALL DOWN!

I'm there:




Today's User Friendly.

A Dampness on the Pins - (Match Report)

Or:  Eight people can have a lot of fun in the rain.

Turnout was light Sunday due to the weather (and the NASCAR race in Phoenix).  Bill and Elaine Tab rejoined us from the soon-to-be-frozen North, and Joe Lancaster rejoined us from his latest tour of the Sandbox.  It drizzled on us off and on, and we had a downpour for a few minutes in the middle of the match, but eight of us in total showed up with nineteen guns.  First rounds went downrange about 8:30, and we were finished by 11.  The competition was pretty fierce, with several ties and several sets going four or more rounds.   

The winner in Major was Jim Burnett with his Clark Custom 1911 pin gun.  Minor and overall pistol champ was John Higgins with his EAA Witness 9mm.  (In the eternal argument between .45 and 9mm, 9mm can be faster in pin shooting.)  Revolver had only four competitors this month, and Jim won that one as well with his S&W .41 Magnum, squeaking by John and his Python.  I learned firsthand that you should not try to reload your revolver with an EMPTY speed loader.  It will cost you the round.  I took the .22 rimfire class with my MkII Target.  I had a couple of really good runs with it.

The next match is December 11.  Hope to see you there!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Quote of the Day - It's the .gov's Fault Edition

From The Washington Examiner, Conn Colin's column (say that three times fast) "Facts show Fannie, Freddie led mortgage market to the collapse":
From 1992 through the height of the housing bubble, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac used their monopoly position in the mortgage securitization industry to reward firms like Countrywide for making bad bets in the housing market. Countrywide's success was a signal to other market participants to lower their standards as well.

Wall Street banks are not blameless for the financial crisis. But they were only responding to the incentives set up by the federal government. Ignoring this history will help no one.
But ignore it they will.  It does not fit The Narrative™.

RTWT.  The .gov set up the conditions, the lenders ran with it.  If they didn't they'd have been penalized by the .gov.  Once one major lender did it, everybody did it.  Why wouldn't they?

STILL No Blog for You!

I'm back, but I've got to build three tables for the bowling pin match tomorrow, cut some pin tops, and load a hundred rounds of .45LC.  Maybe later.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Bowling Pin Match, Sunday, November 13

Usual place, the Tucson Rifle Club action range.

Time:  8:00 AM sign-up, first rounds downrange about 8:15

Handguns only:  .22 rimfire, centerfire revolver (.38 caliber minimum), semi-autos (9mm minimum). Single-shots, if you're a masochist.

You're welcome to shoot your revolver against the semi-auto crowd, but we think it's more fun to shoot wheelgun-vs.-wheelgun. 

Cost:  $10 for the first gun, $5 for any additional guns.  Bring about 100 rounds for each.  You probably won't need 'em all unless you're really good at missing fast, but 50 probably won't be enough.

It promises to be damp this weekend, so bring rain protection.  Hope to see you there!

Monday, November 07, 2011

No Blog for You!

I'm going to be AFK for the next few days.  Sorry.  Blogging will be light to nonexistent. 

Quote of the Day - Law Enforcement Edition

From a link at Everlasting Phelps:
Worries about testimony from some officers are not new. Under the former district attorney, Lynne Abraham, city prosecutors would not allow officers deemed untrustworthy to testify in court.
BUT they'll be allowed to keep working as police officers.

Untrustworthy police officers.

There. Doesn't that make you feel better, peon?

Authorized Journalists

David Codrea and Mike Vanderboegh, that is.  At least according to my hometown newspaper, the Brevard Times.  (I grew up in Brevard Country, Florida.)
In January 2011, journalists David Codrea and Mike Vanderboegh picked up the Gunwalker story from CleanUpATF.org. They began to investigate and report their findings as well as precipitate a Senate Judiciary Committee inquiry into the matter led by U.S. Senator Charles Grassley (R-IA). Codrea and Vanderboegh have zealously attempted to publicize the issue ever since. Their hard work finally paid off - Fox News briefly began to report the story while CBS began a full length investigation which aired last month. Just yesterday, CBS reported that the National Rifle Association used its annual convention to highlight the Gunwalker scandal.
And there's this:
...President Obama's claim that 90% of guns recovered from Mexico originated from the U.S. Obama's 90% statistic drew criticism from media outlets such as Fox News and PolitiFact in April 2009 that his claims were not true and unsubstantiated.


So did the Obama administration hatch a plan to create evidence by using the A.T.F. to enable U.S. gun shipments to Mexico beginning in November 2009 in order to back up his 90% claim made just seven months earlier? It is quite possible that we will find out that answer as the Senate investigation proceeds.
So now we have official acknowledgement from the MSM that bloggers can be journalists.

And it's interesting to see even a small MSM outlet ask the question, "Was Fast and Furious botched, or was it intentional?"

Codrea and Vanderboegh: The Woodward and Bernstein of the Twenty-first Century!

Sunday, November 06, 2011

It Isn't That There's No Jobs,

...it's that there aren't qualified people to fill the jobs that are out there.  Mike Rowe understands it.



Right now, American manufacturing is struggling to fill 200,000 vacant positions, I'm told.  And there are 450,000 openings today in trades, transportation, utilities.  The skill gap seems real, and it's getting wider.  In Alabama a third of all skilled tradesmen are now over 55.  They're retiring fast, and there's really nobody there to replace them.  Alabama's not alone.  A few months ago in Atlanta, I ran into Tom Vilsack, our Secretary of Agriculture.  Tom told me about a governor he knows who is unable to move forward on the construction of a new power plant.  The reason, I thought, was fascinating.  It wasn't a lack of funds or lack of support, it was a lack of qualified welders.  

In general, people are surprised that high unemployment can exist at the same time as a skilled labor shortage.  But they shouldn't be.  We've pretty much guaranteed it.  In high schools the vocational arts have all but vanished.  We've elevated the importance of higher education to such a lofty perch that all other forms of knowledge are now labeled as "alternative."  Millions of parents and kids see apprenticeships and really valuable on-the-job training opportunities as vocational consolation prizes best suited for those not cut out for a four-year degree.  And still, we talk about creating "millions of shovel-ready jobs" for a society that doesn't really encourage people to pick up a shovel.

In a hundred different ways I think we've slowly marginalized an entire category of critical professions, reshaping our expectations of a good job into something that no longer looks like work.
If tough history does come, we'll be learning those skills again because we must.

Now, go read the associated post at House of Eratosthenes.

Heh

In keeping with the previous post:


About that 9% Unemployment Rate

My wife has been working part-time on-call at a local children's shelter.  She had worked there full-time, but it's pretty emotionally wringing, so she went part time instead.  However, they've been cutting hours a lot, so she's only been working one or two days a week, tops.  So she's decided to re-enter the workforce.

Now, granted, she left the full-time workforce about ten years ago to provide day-care for our grandkids, this after having worked at call centers for literally over a decade, first as an international long-distance operator, then as a dispatcher for a national automotive emergency service company when the company providing long-distance operator services lost their contract.  Since then she's worked at a couple of public schools, at the children's shelter, and one short stint as a deli worker at a local grocery store.

So now she finds that to apply for a job, you pretty much HAVE to have a computer with internet access - something she really doesn't like.  She's pretty much an internet widow as it is.  Having to, figuratively, ask my mistress for a job grates on her more than a little bit.  But what bothered her more than anything are the qualifications employers are asking for, and the stupid damned psychological tests they make you take now.  For example:  one local position open was for a part-time parking lot attendant.  They wanted someone with accounting experience.  Excuse me?  To sit in a booth and collect parking fees for minimum wage?  Part time?  That position, unsurprisingly, is still open.  I looked at some of the job openings out there.  I realize there are a lot of unemployed people out there, but since when do you need a college degree to work at a call center?  For $8 an hour?  (Maybe that Master's in Comparative Theology will pay off for someone!  Kinda tough to pay off the $120k in student loans on that salary, though.)

More to the point, though, pretty much every online application included a psych test - a timed psych test.  I was prompted, however, to do this post because of today's Dilbert cartoon:


Dilbert.com


No wonder it's tough to get a job.

Mr. Completely's in the Hospital

Keewee left a comment this morning.  He's got a kidney infection that zapped him pretty hard.  Drop by and tell him to get well soon!

Friday, November 04, 2011

Is That a Microphone...

... or are you just happy to see me?


Sorry, but that just kicked over my gigglebox for some reason.

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Interesting Data Point

I picked up the current issue of Tucson's alt.weekly, and ran across an opinion piece concerning a local artist whose subject matter is the border and narcotics trafficking.  Near the bottom of the piece was this, however - and bear in mind, this is the local lefty rag:
Consider the scandal du jour, the "Fast and Furious" sting operation in which U.S. agencies secretly facilitated the purchase and transmittal of thousands of weapons from U.S. gun dealers to Mexican drug cartels. It may seem like an isolated instance of bad judgment, corruption or incompetence, but it's really a perfectly logical dynamic of a vast industry that annually generates somewhere between $350 billion and $500 billion—a massive, global current of cash that actually kept some banks afloat during the 2008 financial crisis.

A high-ranking member of the Sinaloa cartel has testified that his organization received from U.S. and Mexican authorities guarantees of immunity and all the weapons it would need to crush its competitors—an ongoing initiative that's resulted in an incredible escalation of violence in Mexico over the past few years.

It's quite possible that "Fast and Furious" was not a sting at all, but was intended to aid the Sinaloans in their efforts to recapture the quieter "good ol' days" when they enjoyed a virtual monopoly.
(Emphasis in original.)  Hmmm.  When even your team isn't covering for you anymore....

Welcome to My World, Rush

From Ann Althouse's comments via Instapundit:
I think the thing that made Rush so popular was his sense of cheerful optimism. Unlike the O'Rilleys and Savages of the world, Rush has always been optimistic about the future.

I think that the Obama presidency has been such a disaster of Biblical proportions that Rush is no longer optimistic about the future.
-- Jim Howard
One of the things about Bill Whittle that amazes me is his nearly unflappable optimism. I wish I could share it, but I don't.

I'm So Glad I Don't Live Across The Street From This Family